Saturday, January 24, 2004

Political Action

Until now, I've been fairly apolitical. Perhaps this comes, in part, from growing up in an apolitical family. Sure, my parents voted, but I don't remember dinner table conversations revolving around political conversations. The most interest in politics I remember from my parents was Richard Nixon's resignation. We were on vacation in Whitefield, New Hampshire, in a house without a television. When Richard Nixon made his announcement, we gathered in the car in the driveway to listen to the speech on the radio.

Well, lately I've become interested in presidential politics. I think this stems from my inherent disagreement with the current President's implementation of his National Security Strategy. (I have this thing about invading countries to satisfy some family honor; it's just too much like the Hatfields and the McCoys.)

So, I find myself becoming a little more politically interested, moving beyond just voting in every election.

Earlier this week, I went to the opening of the local campaign office for General Wesley Clark. And, for the first time in history, I now have a political bumper sticker on my car.

Today, while at Broad Street Books, I picked up Slate's Field Guide to the Candidates 2004 based on a series in the online Slate. In my initial thumb-through, I was struck by a couple of things in the book.

First, in the profile of General Clark, the authors list None for General Clark's "Government Experience." I guess serving in the military doesn't count for "government experience." Hmmm... I wonder what it does count for? Sure, it's not elected, political experience, but it sure as hell is government experience. And, at the levels General Clark spend his final years in the military, I'd say it was fairly high-level government experience. In a number of instances, he was the U.S. government representative in international relationships. Elected, political experience: None. Government experience: 34 years worth.

I don't know: in terms of "government experience" that's a few more than 6-years of experience as Governor of Texas. ;-)

Another item of interest was an article by Chris Suellentrop which asserts General Clark has said that European leaders see "the War on Terrorism" as George W. Bush's war because President Bush has made it his war (rather than broadening the coalition in the beginning to encompass NATO).

There's a novel assertion: Americans are dying in Iraq for the President's war.

Sure, Saddam was a tyrant. But, according to senior members of the current administration, there were likely no weapons of mass destruction.

I don't know... I'm so surprised at this.

In the mean time, I guess I'll continue with this newfound political involvement: talking, writing, and promoting the one candidate I'd like to call my Commander in Chief.

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